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-- Layman's Fan Bus Pt.2: The Voltage Switch
-- 6.17.2000
-- By: GideonX

Please note: I do not take responsibility for your stupidty, if you break something that you paid a lot for, tough luck. I told you to be careful.

   This guide is not meant to be an electricians ideal way of explaining things. This is just a fast write up on a very simple voltage switching that people with no real 'electrical' knowledge can do. With that outta the way, here goes. Please check out my very recent fan bus tutorial. This item is an important part of the switching process.

   Fan wire clutter has gotten to an all time low in my case. Air flow has greatly improved because of the lessen amount of Molex connectors clogging up real useful air flow real estate. Now with all this fine fan tuning at your fingertip, you still notice that for some reason you still can't hear your favorite Elton John mp3 because of the constant wurring in the background. You got it, your fan is causing noise pollution. So here is where the fun begins, how do I make it quieter? Simple, use a switch or rheostat to vary the voltage going to the fan. What does this all mean? If you read on the labels of most fans, it states 12VAC or something to that extent. This means the max voltage that that single fan can take is 12volts. I assume anything above that will equal coco krispy fans. So to get the 12 volts, the fan is powered most of the time by the nice molex that has connectors with the following voltages:

Molex Power!

   The yellow wire carries the 12 volts which you will notice is usally connected to the red wire of the fan. The black wire is then connected to the ground. Now how much juice is required to actually run this thing? Twelve volts is the recommended voltage to attain maximum rpms and cfms. What if I got 20 gazzillion fans and I don't care that my fans are spinning slower thus causing less noise? Unbeknowst (is that a word? omfg...) to most people is that most fans can start up at 5 volts. I tested 6 fans 60mm all the way to 120mms and they start up fine at 5v. Now how can we use this to our advantage? We stick a switch on the power line that allows us to select either 5 or 12 volts! How do we do this? Switches!!!

   What are you talking about? Switches?? Huh? Thats right, go to your local Radio Shack and pick up these fine things:

Here is the list of items that I purchased :

  • Any type of Single Pole, Double Throw (SPDT) Switch - $1.99
  • Wires
  • Fan Bus (you better have made this first or all hell will break lose)
   Now on with the tools and supplies I will be using. Here they are :
  • Dremel Multi-Pro Variable (The third time i've used it! Awesome!)
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Hair Dryer
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Philips Screwdriver
  • Panaflo 80mm fans with bare leads (My test fan, love these things)

-- Next: Insane Wiring!

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